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Draft Budget 2024

Published Monday 4 December, 2023
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

People are being asked to have their say on Swale Borough Council’s proposed budget for the next financial year.

On Wednesday 29 November 2023 the Policy and Resources Committee agreed for the draft budget for 2024/25 to go out to consultation.

The draft budget outlines £3.5m of proposed savings, efficiencies and increased income, leaving a budget gap of £1.36m which would be funded from reserves if further savings are not identified.

It includes measures to balance the budget, such as:

  • restructuring council services
  • increasing council tax by 2.99% (works out to 11p a week increase for band D home)
  • increasing income from fees and charges
  • reducing some grants
  • a freeze in members allowances
  • reviewing the council’s major contracts

The consultation process is the opportunity for the public to comment on these proposals, and includes questions about how the council can increase savings, increase revenue and decrease spending.

It also asks for the public's opinion on their planned capital spending such as buying new assets, proposed changes to how car parks are charged and increasing council tax.

All council tax collected in Swale is shared between Kent County Council, Kent Fire and Rescue service, Kent Police and town and parish councils.

This means Swale Borough Council receives only 9p out of every pound of your council tax bill.

This limited funding is used to provide a wide variety of services:

  • waste and recycling collection and street cleaning
  • environmental protection, dealing with littering and fly tipping
  • parks and open spaces as well as providing leisure centres and swimming pools
  • car parks and public toilets
  • council tax and housing benefits
  • dealing with planning applications
  • providing support for homeless people

While other services such as roadworks, social care, schools and libraries are delivered by Kent County Council.

Cllr Tim Gibson, leader of the council, said:

“It’s no secret that councils all over the country are struggling to balance their books - costs are rising whilst the funding we get from government is falling.

“We’re also seeing more and more people coming to us for help and support as they try to navigate their way through the cost-of-living crisis.

“Despite these significant challenges, we want to focus on the future, and working towards improving the lives of local people.

“We’re determined to spend the next few years working to strengthen communities, creating a sustainable local economy, improving housing, health and wellbeing and enhancing our environment.

“To do this we need a well-run organisation, using the limited resources that we have, to focus on the issues that will make a real difference to the Borough.

“This means making some tough decisions about what we can and can’t do to make sure we’re getting the most value that we can from every pound.

"This draft budget sets out what we think we need to do to achieve this with a balanced budget for next year.

“We want your views on what we’re proposing, which includes funding for a new waste contract, investing in housing to reduce the costs of supporting the hundreds of families in temporary accommodation and how we plan to save for the future.

“We might not be able to do everything that everybody wants, but we do want to be open and honest about the challenges that we face, so that people can understand the decisions we have to take.

"Please take some time to look through what we’re proposing and give us your honest views to inform our decisions when we’re finalising the budget in the New Year.”

The consultation runs until Wednesday, 3 January 2024, and you can find out more and have your say at

The results of the consultation will be reported to the policy and resources committee on 7 February2024 before full council is asked to approve the final budget on 21 February 2024.

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